Bete Grise (French for Grey Beast) is located 3 miles east of Lac La Belle on what is now mostly private property. It was once a mining and fishing village with 10 residents still remaining in 1940.
Bete Grise Bay
The public portion of the Bete Grise beach, located 3 miles east of Lac La Belle, offers a sandy swimming area, change building and picnic tables.
Bete Grise South
Bete Grise South is a wetland area stretching along Lake Superior from Lac La Belle to Point Isabelle along the Gay-Lac La Belle Road on the Keweenaw's south shore. Bete Grise is recognized as the single most important lake plain marsh community remaining in the Upper Great Lakes. The area features two miles of premier Lake Superior shoreline and contains roughly 1,500 acres of diverse wetland types. Hikers, photographers, bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts will likely spot bald eagles and sandhill cranes, both of which actively nest here, and enjoy breathtaking views of the entire southern shore of the Keweenaw Peninsula. There is a small undeveloped parking area on the north side of the Gay-Lac La Belle Road at the boundary between Sections 2 & 3 with a clearly defined trail that leads to the beach.
Motorized vehicles, camping or overnight use, fires and removal or collection of any vegetation or nature feature (except blueberry and cranberry picking for personal use) are prohibited. Pets are welcome on leash. Open 365 days a year to foot travel and other types of passive recreational use such as hiking, fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and the like. Hunting is allowed by written permit through the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District.
Copper Harbor Lighthouse
Located at the east point of the Harbor entrance, this lighthouse is now a part of the Ft. Wilkins State Park Complex. The current lighthouse was built in 1866 and is accessible only by boat tour from the Copper Harbor marina.
Accessible Memorial Day through mid October.
Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Russell and Miriam Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary at Bare Bluff is one of the most spectacular vistas in the Keweenaw. This most difficult trail has been improved. Take a three-mile hike along the base of this beautiful rhyolite formation then up a natural fault to the top, where the stunted forest opens to spectacular balds with a southeastern view down the Keweenaw to the point. Allow three hours for this challenging adventure.
The trail is in a Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary and all sanctuary rules apply. Collecting plants, seeds, or animals of any kind is strictly forbidden. Stay on established trails. Only foot traffic is allowed - the use of all motorized vehicles or mountain bikes is prohibited. No hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, campfires, or pets are permitted. Carry out all refuse. Leave only footprints, take only pictures.West of Bete Grise off the Smith Fisheries Road. DIRECTIONS: From Hancock drive north on US-41 to Phoenix, then drive 10.4 miles to the Lac La Belle Road. Turn right and drive 4.7 miles to the bottom of the steep hill in Lac La Belle. Turn left and continue about 2 miles to Smith Fishery Road and turn left. Travel 2.5 miles, bearing to the right, to the parking area marked with an MNA sanctuary sign. The road is marked PRIVATE, but acccess is available to Grinnell Memorial Sanctuary. The first .05 miles of the hike is a logging road that takes you to the trailhead sign. This is a loop trail which may be hiked in either direction.
The original tower was built in 1870 on Mendota Point to guide ships into Lac La Belle through the Mendota Ship Canal. The present lighthouse was built in 1895 and abandoned by the Coast Guard in 1960. It is now a private residence. (Photo courtesy of pasty.com)
DIRECTIONS: From Hancock drive north on US-41 to Phoenix, then drive 10.4 miles to the Lac La Belle Road. Turn right and drive 4.7 miles to the bottom of the steep hill in Lac La Belle. Turn left and continue about 2 miles to Smith Fishery Road and turn left. Follow this road approximately five miles to the end. This entire single-lane road is private property but as a visitor you are tolerated, so drive carefully, and yield to oncoming raaffic. At the end you will see a stone pillared fence, turn left. The owners have graciously provided you access while protecting their privacy, so honor this privilage. Two hundred yards ahead are the four or five parking spaces. The road is marked PRIVATE, but acccess is available to the small parking area near the Smith Fisheries. (The State of Michigan Forest boundary is part way down the trail Someday there will be access to the falls over public land but until then, honor the land owners who maintain this private road access) The hike to the mouth of the Montreal River is a winding one mile shoreline trail plagued with wind falls. (See the Keweenaw Water Trail map for information on finding it by canoe or kayak.)